Interview with Phillip Parker, Feature Screenplay Winner (The Third Bomb)

While I was writing my script, I used the ‘text to voice’ feature on Final Draft so I could hear what it would sound like to have my story read out loud. The computer voices are pretty bad, but it did help me hone the dialogue. When I discovered the WILDsound Festival, and the chance to get my story read by flesh and blood actors, I was all in! I’m thrilled that I was selected. This will be a great learning tool that will help me polish my script even more. I’m sure I will wonder why I never got some real people together earlier to have a read through of my story. It really is an invaluable way to improve your writing.

– Phillip Parker, on why he submitted to the WILDsound Writing Festival (Review)

    Watch the Full Reading of THE THIRD BOMB:


    NARRATOR – Becky Shrimpton
    Mark – Jason Martorino
    Harry/Locke – Jason J. Thomas
    Sgt. Mizumi – Derek Chan
    Capt. Tanaka – Scott Dion Brown
    Zack/Ralph – Nathan Kohn
    Lt. Shiro – Ben Hur
    Yunmei – Angelica Alejandro
    Jill – Stephanie Seaton

Interview with screenwriter Phillip Parker:

1. What is your screenplay about?

The third atomic mission has crashed in Japanese territory and the rule-following pilot is ordered to detonate his bomb, but when an ambitious Japanese commander throws him into a prison filled with Allied POWs, he must learn to put humanity before duty if any of them are to escape the island alive.

2. Why should this script be made into a movie?

First and foremost, because this story deals with thematic questions that are universal, no matter the time period or culture. On a story level, it is about the good of the many vs. the good of the few, and asks the question – Is the good of the many always the right choice? On a character level, it posits the moral dilemma – What if you, or people you know, are part of the few? In today’s troubled world, filled with ongoing proxy wars, tangled alliances and terrorists who hide amongst civilian populations, these questions are more relevant than ever.

3. How long have you been writing stories?

I wrote my first story when I was in 8th grade. I was in love with the Lord of the Rings back then. I liked drawing maps of Middle Earth and writing short stories about wizards and hobbits. My teacher thought I was great, but my interest got side tracked when I discovered girls. Much later, I wrote some travel articles that were published and an honor’s thesis at college that got top marks, but still, I hadn’t found a mentor who could make me see that, hey, I really liked writing and could make a career out of it. Maybe my parents thought it was a path to poverty, so they never encouraged it lol.

4. What movie have you seen the most in your life?

It’s a toss-up between Casablanca and The Last of the Mohicans

5. What artists would you love to work with?

Michael Mann, Mathew McConaughey, Wolfgang Peterson, Jennifer Lawrence

6. How many stories/screenplays have you written?

Two feature screenplays and the beginnings of a third, one half-hour TV episodic, plus several published travel and marketing articles.

7. Ideally, where would you like to be in 5 years?

Career-wise? I’d like to have sold a spec or two. Writing on staff for TV show would be great. Just being a writer for hire and paying the bills doing the thing I love most would be a dream come true. It’s a dream I intend to make come true.

8. Describe your process; do you have a set routine, method for writing?

For the last 7 years I’ve had a full time job at the BBC as a Creative Producer. It’s long and demanding work. To fit in some writing around that, and my lovely girlfriend, I have to sacrifice something, and that something is usually sleep. I get up around 430-5am every day, do an hour or so of power writing, then go to work. In the evenings, I try to sneak in an hour or so, too. On the weekends, I write as much as I can until my girlfriend drags me out of my cave to remind me what the sun looks like. Not surprisingly, I’ve been known to fall asleep, sitting up, with my hands on the keyboard

9. Apart from writing, what else are you passionate about?

Despite all my hours devoted to writing, I actually love the outdoors. I like adrenaline pumping stuff. It gets the juices flowing and reminds you how precious and fun life can be.

10. Any advice or tips you’d like to pass on to other writers?

There is a saying: “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most won’t, so you can live the rest of your life like most can’t.” The same goes for writers. If you really want to make a career out of it, you have to do it every day, even if that means sacrificing things you love. Just don’t sacrifice love itself J

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